An article by the NZ Herald reports that recommendations for slope monitoring and early warning made by a geotechnical consulting firm in a report 2 years before the initial failure were not adopted by Auckland Transport. The Birkenhead landslide initially took out 25 parking spaces in a retail area in October of 2017, and a larger landslide in November of the same year took out a micropile or other drill rig working to stabilize the site. Local officials defended the decision, indicating that they instead opted for regular site visits and visual observation of cracks noted in the report. The initial recommendations by GHD Engineers included the monitoring as a minimum, and also recommended several stabilization options in the range of $500k. The current estimates to repair the landslide are $14M to $24M.
Four engines pulling a freight train derailed July 9 and landed in the Mississippi River after hitting a landslide or major rockfall. The accident happened near Guttenburg in northeastern Iowa. Two workers on the train were injured, one was rescued by boat. The engines are now leaking diesel fuel and transmission oil into the river, but crews are on scene to attempt to contain the contamination which has apparently spread 5 miles downstream. Two ethanol tankers derailed as well but do not appear to be leaking. Several rail cars carrying grain have spilled also. There are 75 cars still on the track. Via Reuters and The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA). (Photo credit: Orlan Love/The Gazette)